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Simple lock picking is a trade that anyone can learn. However, Advanced lock picking is a craft that requires mechanical sensitivity, Physical dexterity, Visual concentration and analytic thinking. If you strive to excel at lock picking, You will grow in many ways.


Mechanical Skills.

Learning how to pull the pick over the pins is surprisingly difficult. The problem is that the mechanical skills you learned early in life involved maintaining a fixed position or fixed path for your hands independent of the amount of force required. In lock picking, you must learn how to apply a fixed force independent of the position of your hand. As you pull the pick out of the lock you want to apply a fixed pressure on the pins. The pick should bounce up and down in the keyway according to the resistance offered by each pin.

To pick a lock you need feedback about the effects of your manipulations. To get the feedback, you must train yourself to be sensitive to the sound and feel of the pick passing over the pins. This is a mechanical skill that can only be learned with practice. The exercises will help you recognize the important information coming from your fingers.

Zen and the Art of Lock Picking.

In order to excel at lock picking, you must train yourself to have a visually reconstructive imagination. The idea is to use information from all your senses to build a picture of what is happening inside the lock as you pick it. Basically, you want to project your senses into the lock to receive a full picture of how it is responding to your manipulations. Once you have learned how to build this picture, it is easy to choose manipulations that will open the lock.

All your senses provide information about the lock. Touch and sound provide the most information, but the other senses can reveal critical information. For example, your nose can tell you whether a lock has been lubricated recently. As a beginner, you will need to use your eyes for hand-eye coordination, but as you improve you will find it unnecessary to look at the lock. In fact, it is better to ignore your eyes and use your sight to build an image of the lock based on the information you receive from your fingers and ears.

The goal of this mental skill is to acquire a relaxed concentration on the lock. Don't force the concentration. Try to ignore the sensations and thoughts that are not related to the lock. Don't try to focus on the lock.

Analytic Thinking.

Each lock has its own special characteristics which make picking harder or easier. If you learn to recognize and exploit the "personality traits" of locks, picking will go much faster. Basically, you want to analyze the feedback you get from a lock to diagnose its personality traits and then use your experience to decide on an approach to open the lock.

People underestimate the analytic skills involved in lock picking. They think that the picking tool opens the lock. To them the torque wrench is a passive tool that just puts the lock under the desired stress. Let me propose another way to view the situation. The pick is just running over the pins to get information about the lock. Based on an analysis that information the torque is adjusted to make the pins set at the sheer line. It's the torque wrench that opens the lock.

Varying the torque as the pick moves in and out of the keyway is a general trick that can be used to get around several picking problems. For example, if the middle pins are set, but the end pins are not, you can increase the torque as the pick moves over the middle pins. This will reduce the chances of disturbing the correctly set pins. If some pin doesn't seem to lift up far enough as the pick passes over it, then try reducing the torque on the next pass.

The skill of adjusting the torque while the pick is moving requires careful coordination between your hands, but as you become better at visualizing the process of picking a lock, you will become better at this important skill.


Lock Picking for the Enthusiast.

When practicing and learning the trade of lock picking there will be various of terms that a person should learn. Like a lawyer or a doctor have to learn the terms and expressions of the trade the same applies for the profession and hobby of lock picking. The more you get to know and understand the terms used, the easier you will be able to pick up new procedures and techniques since the person that will be teaching and doing the instruction will be using the right words so you will not benefit fully unless you are able to speak the same language. The Glossary found on this website will cover most of the more common terms and even many of the obscure words used so that you can get an idea of the types of terminology used in the lock picking and locksmithing trade. At locksmith training merseyside we will teach you the terms that locksmiths use, as part of your training course.


Another aspect that you have to become familiar with when engaging yourself into the business of lock picking is the tools used in the lock picking trade. Like just any other profession, locksmiths use different types of simple and sofisticated tools to accomplish the task. The interesting thing is that the basic tools of the trade can actually be made at your own home and using very basic household items. This is actually considered a great place to begin the art of lock picking. The reason given for this is that if you produce your own tools you will have a greater understanding of the way the tools work to accomplish the task, however even to make your own home made tools you should be a handyman so to avoid the hassle just buy a training cylinder and a simple pick and as we say at locksmith training merseyside, practise practise practise.

As you improve you will need to progress to a commercially made set as they are more precise and stronger than most home made tools. Beginners should not go for the most expensive ones available out there, but should look for the thinnest tools. The reason is that a thin pick will take up less space in the lock. The lock area is small so the more you can leave open for movement the better.

Another very important aspect of learning how to pick locks is to stay patient. The skill is just that, it takes practice to achieve. So practicing needs patience without patience you will not gain anything. The most disastrous thing that you can do is to expect too much too soon. The more you practice the better your feel for the mechanisms will become and the faster you will be able to get through the pins of a lock

Practice little and often...It is much better to practice lockpicking if you sit down and practice say for a short time - take a break and return to it later rather than one longer practice session.  Not only will you be able to practice for longer overall but during the breaks your brain will work away in the background piecing method and technique together.  You will often find therefore that when you return after a break your success rate will be better.
Get yourself as many locks as possible
Car boot sales, garage sales, friends and relatives are all really good sources for old unwanted locks.  The good thing about our requirement for locks is of course it doesn't matter if the locks do not have keys with them.
The more locks you can practice on the better.

 It can also help your confidence because having many locks will mean that there will be locks of varying difficulties.  Therefore, if you are struggling with a really difficult lock you can move on to the next one that may be easier thus preventing you from getting despondent and giving up.  The more successes you have the more keen you will be to continue to practice - and the more practice the more locks you will open.  You will be in a positive cycle opening more locks, getting better and so on.
Disassemble as many locks as you can
This point is linked in a way with the last one.  Try to get hold of and disassemble as many locks as possible.  By actually seeing the inner workings of a lock you will get a better understanding of what is actually happening when you unlock/pick a lock.  Not only will you have a great visualisation in your mind when picking but by actually taking apart locks you can often discover methods of attack and bypass techniques that will or will not work, we show you how to disassemble and repin locks as part of the training courses we run

Use clear practice locks
Practice locks are essentially locks that have been cut away so that the inner workings can be seen.  They are great to see if your technique is working well.
What this means is that whilst picking a clear practice lock you can can actually see how your pick is interacting with the pins within the lock.  Therefore, you can begin to link the sensations of the pick and tiny movements in the lock with what you can see is happening within the lock.
This often results in a much quicker learning process and it of course helps to ensure that your technique is correct.
Personally I found it particularly helpful to see just how much tension can be too much which is of course can be the main reason for a lock not opening.
By seeing inside the lock at the same time as picking you can see pins binding and you can therefore quickly learn how to apply the correct turning force with your turning tools, here at locksmith training merseyside, we use clear practise locks, in our training courses to help the trainee understand the locks.

Training boards
These are another item that can help with improving your technique.  Essentially training boards are simple one or more locks mounted on a wooden board.  Often the locks on the board can be easily removed and replaced with new ones.
The benefit of using a training board is that you do not have to worry about holding a lock that you are trying to pick in your hands.
Very often if you are asked to open a lock, especially if you are working as a locksmith, the lock will be mounted on a door. It's good therefore to practice picking a lock on a similar mounted board.  Also, holding a lock whilst pricking leads you to feel a lot of what is happening when picking - you don't have this out in the field and shouldn't get used to it.
Also, in mounting the lock you will be able to hold the tension tool properly, rather than holding the lock and the tension tool together.  Therefore, you will be able to develop better techniques.
Here at locksmith training merseyside we make our own practise boards and give them out to the student as part of the course for free, I think we are the only training course to do this .

Here at locksmith training merseyside we  can teach advanced lockpicking techniques or incorporate them into the basic locksmith training course, email me on dmlocksmithsschool@yahoo.co.uk or call 01744 613202 / 07916262239

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